The shopping basket for newborns contains unique items depending on the preference of the parents. However, one item must, almost always, be present in the basket; disposable diapers, packets and packets of them. If you were born in the 90s or the years before, you probably never saw a disposable diaper. However, in recent years, disposable diapers have become a necessary commodity when raising infants. Mothers prefer diapers mostly because they save them the time spent cleaning reusable diapers and napkins. Unfortunately, it’s not all bliss with diapers. Here are three reasons why you should stop using disposable diapers.

Health Concerns

Some mothers, especially those with baby boys, are afraid that the use of disposable diapers will cause infertility issues later in the life of their child. While there is no research that confirms or denies these worries, infertility issues are not the only health concern with diapers. Some babies have an adverse skin reaction to the materials that are used to make diapers.

Environmental pollution

Research conducted in 2014 found that disposable diapers account for 7% of non-durable house waste refill. The problem becomes worse because disposable diapers do not decompose. In a country like Kenya where we do not have proper waste management systems, it is not uncommon to find a used diaper floating around or blocking the drain, especially when it rains. Of course, used disposable diapers are not a very pleasant sight.


The average baby uses anywhere between 6-8 pieces of diapers in a day. When you translate the cost of buying enough diapers for your baby in a month, the cost may be overwhelming. Wouldn’t it be better to explore a cheaper alternative?

What to use instead

There are several alternatives to disposable diapers that you can use. The most common ones are as follows.

Reusable Diapers or Nappies

One alternative to the disposable diaper is the reusable diaper. Clean them after the baby has used them and let them dry enough before using them again. They are a good option to save the environment and they are friendly on the baby’s skin. However, be warned, there will be a lot of cleaning and drying.

Photo by Padmavathi Ashok Kumar on Unsplash
Benefits of using Washable Diapers
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Elimination Communication

Elimination communication, also known as infant potty training, is a lesser-known alternative top disposable diapers is elimination control. The method entails knowing when your baby is about to go on a call of nature and take them to the potty. Parents with babies as young as three months can use elimination control. Besides saving on the costs for purchasing disposable diapers and saving the environment, elimination communication also makes the process of potty training easier and natural to the child. The method, however, requires that the parent or caregiver is patient and very observant so as not to miss the cues.

Go diaper free

The diaper free method involves just letting your child go diaper free for a few hours, especially during the day, to just run around the house and have some breathing space. You can them have your child wear a disposable or reusable diaper at night.


While there are many alternatives to use, there is no one alternative that is the best. You can experiment with each of the choices until you find the one that work for you and your baby. Moreover, you can decide to use a disposable diaper once in a while before you transition fully to using the alternatives, the decision is really up to you.

The exciting May issue of Parents magazine is here!
On this Mother’s Day issue, we catch up with Beatrice Elachi. The former legislator opens up about her journey into politics, motherhood, and her marriage in an exhilarating candid read that you don’t want to miss!